Pedestrian accidents can often be fatal, as the human body simply cannot
take the kind of impact encountered from a
collision with an automobile - even when the crash happens at a slower speed. Having pedestrian accidents
occur in a designated crosswalk makes the situation even worse, as cautious
drivers should be on the look for pedestrians.
Oahu has suffered three pedestrian deaths in three days over the past week
and several more this year. Many of those involved were seniors. As we
recently wrote on this blog, a report by Smart Growth America found that
Hawaii is the
most dangerous state for pedestrians 65 and older. The question becomes, what can be done to address the issue?
Irresponsible drivers can be held liable when they harm a pedestrian through
disregard for safety.
Fatal Pedestrian Accidents
Hawaii News Now, this is a quick summary of the three fatal pedestrian accidents which
occurred in Oahu:
Bus accident. A 55-year old man was hit and killed by a city bus before dawn last week
at the crosswalk at North King Street and Russell Lane in Kalihi.
SUV accident. A 79-year-old woman was hit and killed by an SUV (sports utility vehicle)
in a crosswalk on Kailua Road.
Bus accident. A 71-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was also hit by a
city bus in Waikiki.
Sadly, these are not the only pedestrian accidents as of late. In February,
a 71-year-old woman died after she was hit by a garbage truck at about
5:50 a.m. in a marked crosswalk on North King Street and Gulick Avenue.
Another accident in February, involved a 67-year-old woman who was returning
from an early morning walk when a pickup truck driver struck her in a
crosswalk on North King Street between Gulick Avenue and Mokauea Street.
She suffered critical injuries and died later at the hospital.
AARP Study Shows Hawaii Is Top State for Deaths Involving Senior Pedestrians
AARP study showed that Hawaii was the worst state when it came to the number of deaths
involving pedestrians age 65 and over.
In fact, adults age 65 and older comprise just 13.7% of Hawaii's population,
but accounted for nearly 42% of pedestrian fatalities across the state
from 2003 to 2010.
According to Bruce Bottorff of AARP Hawaii, “There are certain areas
and certain crosswalks that do, unfortunately, exhibit a higher danger
rate. We’ve also known that we’ve got a population that’s
aging rapidly and that the number of vehicles on the road tend to increase
as well, so we’ve got a dangerous mix here." He believes that
more education for drivers and pedestrians is needed, as the potential
for accidents keeps increasing.
AARP Hawaii Director of Outreach, Jackie Boland, said that the report shows
that Hawaii still has a long way to go. She commented, "Given the
dangerous mix of vehicles and pedestrians on our roadways, combined with
the rapid aging of our population, we have a responsibility to the public
to be both vigilant and proactive on this issue."
Pedestrian Accident Compensation
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, you may
be entitled to compensation in the form of loss of wages, medical expenses,
pain and suffering and more. Contact an experienced
Hawaii personal injury attorney to review your situation and determine your legal options so you get the
compensation to which you're entitled.